Build Strong Muscles Without Weights or Gymby Dr. Nancy on November 8th, 2011 in Fitness
Key points to note:
- 1. The foundation for muscle growth is created by an overloading stimulus.
- 2. Weights can be substituted with the body weight, gravity, instability, or momentum.
- 3. A thorough workout without weights can be just as taxing – and effective – as one with weights.
4. Use slow-motion training by taking 12 seconds for the positive phase and 6 seconds for the negative phase of each rep. Reframe from locking out in the top position and resting in the bottom position, and change smoothly from the positive to the negative.
5. Reduce rest time, or no rest time between sets and alternate type of exercise so no two body parts are being worked back to back in the same workout.
6. Iso-Tension, or pose and flex the muscles you are working hard and hold it for a count of 10.
The key to building muscles without weights is to first help the body rid of excess fat by consistently engaging in different types of cardio workouts like brisk walking, jogging, swimming, or aerobics. Though walking, a low impact action, may not challenge the heart as much as running, it is still movement, and will aid the body in healthy circulation and weight loss.
Besides the above cardio exercises that can be done at your convenience, here is a list of muscle building exercises that will help to build muscles without weights.
•Pushups are one of the best ways to build muscles without weight as these exercises helps in building your shoulder, chest and arms muscles. To perform pushups, lie on your abdomen with toes curled under and palms resting flat near your chest.
Slowly lift your body up by placing your entire weight on your shoulder and your feet. Now slowly bring your body down but do not place it on the floor. Begin with 10-15 pushups and gradually increase the repetitions of this exercise.
For an advanced and more challenging move, try alternating push-ups with a side plank. Begin by performing a standard push-up, taking two seconds to lower and one to rise back up. Once you’re at the top of the movement again, you are to flip onto your side and perform a side plank, holding that for a count of 4 seconds, moving back into the push-up position before you complete the next rep.
For another alternate push up move, try handstand pushups. Get into a handstand next to a wall, put your toes against the wall for balance, lower yourself until the top of your head touches the ground, push back up and repeat for many reps.
•Pull ups are recommended for building the muscles of your arms and back. You can perform these exercises simply by installing doorway pull up bars or other bars using which you can lift your body up and tighten your core muscles. Do as many as you can until fatigue. For beginners, use a chair for assistance and to modify pull ups.
For an advanced move, try pull-ups with an added pike. Start by performing the traditional pull-up movement, but once you reach the bottom of the movement, move into a pike trying to get your legs up to at least waist level. After the pike is completed, continue on with your next pull-up.
•Squats come next in the list of muscle building exercises that can be done without weights. This exercise is extremely useful in strengthening the leg and glute muscles. When performing squats, care should be taken so that knees do not hyper-extend over the toes. Stand with your feet placed at shoulder length distance. Gently lower body as if sitting in a chair. Thighs should become parallel to the ground. Slowly return body to the original position. Repeat this exercise 20 to 30 reps in 3-4 sets, daily.
•Lunges are another powerful thigh, leg and glute muscle building exercise that can be done without weights. Stand straight with your right foot placed in front. Now place your hands behind your back and slowly bring your right thigh parallel to the floor and bend the left leg so that is touches the floor. Do 20-30 repetitions with right leg and then repeat the process with your left leg.
Walking lunges, reverse lunges and jump lunges with alternating legs, are also a great way to change up this power move.
•Single-leg tricep dips will really target and tone the back of the arms. Get into a standard dip position, with your legs up on a bench or box. Once balanced, lift one leg off the box and perform the tricep dips. Aim for 3 sets of 30 reps. This will also call the core into play to a much larger extent due to the fact you have a reduced base of support. Remember to do equal sets on each leg.
Other exercises that can help you build muscle without weights include step ups, abs crunches, step ups, calf raises and leg raises. Spend time doing yoga and pilates at home to assist the building of muscles without weights and reduce risk of injury. Pay attention to proper form and warming up. Besides performing these exercises, one should also eat a healthy diet full of lean protein, colorful fruits and vegetables and drink an abundance of clean water that will help the body function optimally and also develop lean muscles.
Sources: AskMen.com, MensHealth.com, Shape.com, Self.com
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